27 June, 2008

I spotted this on a walk into the city yesterday...Has Banksy come to Philly?? :)

It's hard to believe that week 3 is over! It was a good week, full of new lessons. We are still working on our lesson plans and also working hard on the craft project and planning the decorations for our classroom for the summer. We're all excited, but also getting a bit nervous and anxious to just get the first week of teaching over with.

Last night some of us interns went for a late dinner and karaoke at a local dive called The Happy Rooster. It was a funny place...some intense karaoke devotees were in attendance, making for quite an entertaining evening!

Tomorrow I am headed to NYC for the day! On the agenda are the Neue Galerie and the Met Museum, but of course I'm always up for some unplanned adventures...

16 June, 2008

Words of Wisdom

Today we interns had two very interesting meetings that gave me some good things to think about. First, we attended a panel discussion with six members of the Development department. They work tirelessly to raise the funds to operate this institution (at least $45 million dollars a year). The thing that impressed me, though, was their focus on supporting great art more than "lining the coffers." From everything I have seen in the last week, the PMA is not about being a business; it is dedicated to bringing diverse, quality collections to as many people as possible. One woman mentioned of Anne D'Harnoncourt, the Director of the PMA who passed away very suddenly a few weeks ago, that she was never one to sell out. She would never, ever, approve an exhibition of popular big names (Impressionists, for instance) just to appeal to popular taste and attract a lot of paying visitors; rather, she would only approve exhibitions that she felt would impart new knowledge and represented excellent scholarship. That integrity permeates the whole museum.

Second, we had a meeting with the Curator of European Painting, who gave us a preview of an upcoming Cezanne exhibit and shared a bit about the process of planning and assembling such an exhibition. When asked about his background and what got him to this position, this was his immediate response: "Never sit at your desk. Work on your languages every day. Move about in the world, and look at things." He went on to say that although some people say otherwise, it is absolutely essential to have a postgraduate degree these days. I left that meeting with a sneaking suspicion that maybe I wouldn't mind curatorial work, and inspired to finally master one of the languages I have dabbled in and obtain that Master's Degree, by George!

14 June, 2008

"With a million other faces I shoot through the city veins"

("Black Cloud," Carlos Morales [?], Philadelphia Museum of ART)

This has been an excellent week. Friday ended with a delightful evening of good music, good food, and good company; three of my new friends, Auntie Di, and I stayed for "Art After 5." I had a lovely plate of three small tarts and a glass of Chardonnay for dinner, and apricot creme brulee for dessert. The jazz pianist played a great mix of standards ("Summertime") and originals, and the bassist was fab. It was a great way to unwind together after our first week of work; we all get along really well, and it's such a true delight to spend some free time together.

Today was my first free day to go downtown! I went to my old favorite, Walnut Street. Had coffee at Joe's while I did some homework, then did a little shopping. Then Diana, another education intern, and I met up for lunch. We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering Center City, popping into stores when we needed air conditioning! One especially fun moment came as we strolled through Rittenhouse Square; a trumpeter and a guitarist were playing together on a bench, and a photographer was sitting across from them, about to take their photo. The trumpeter saw us and said, "I sure would love it if you ladies would be in the picture with us." For half a second I was going to say a quick "No thanks" and keep walking---But, what the heck? We're in the city on a beautiful day! Live a little! So we squeezed between them, took the picture, and then stayed while they played "The Girl from Ipanema"--the trumpeter didn't know it so I held up the sheet music for him. :) As Diana and I continued our stroll through the city, I decided that there aren't enough meals in the day for all the great restaurants I want to try this summer. Alas.

09 June, 2008

Like my office?

I moved up to Philly on Saturday and began my internship today! It was a wonderful day and I'm so excited to go back tomorrow. I still can't quite believe that I'm a part of such a great institution; as we walked through the collections and hallways today, wearing our official badges, it was all I could do to keep my expression professional, instead of wide-eyed and grinning.
There are nearly 30 interns. I really liked those that I met - I think a few might be "kindred spirits." It's an interesting group from all over the country. I feel honored to learn with them. We spent today filling out forms, touring the building, learning security procedures, and doing "get-to-know-you" sorts of activities. Tomorrow we will do things more specific to our departments, so I'll start learning details about the Education department and what my role will be. Stay tuned!
I get a lot of perks such as discounts and free tickets thanks to my badge...something positive to think about on my painfully long commute back home! The drive to the museum was 20 minutes this morning; the bus ride back, including a transfer and a half hour wait, totaled 1 hr 5 minutes. FUN.
Other good news: I live near Manayunk, which is a quirky little neighborhood with lots of little shops and cafes and a few galleries. I look forward to exploring it. Also, I visited a church that I liked. It's called Liberti. I met a few kind people, including one girl who gave me her number and offered to give me a ride to a weeknight Bible study. I appreciated that expression of hospitality more than I can say.